The last week of August was spent wandering the hills San Francisco.  Actually as we were travelling with a 4 year old it seemed we were doing a tour of the playgrounds of San Fran.   My travelling strategy has changed significantly since I visited San Fran for my honeymoon 7 years ago.  Gone are the days of wandering the streets all day and finding a hotel last minute.  We are now very experienced in vacation rental accommodations.   And I pre-plan the itinerary for much of each day to ensure everyone gets to do something they like.

The biggest thing that has changed is my packing technique.  As airlines now charge for checked baggage I try to be a minimal packer.  A big change for this girl.  So now the heels stay at home and the choice in my wardrobe is usually in my accessories.

How I packed

Inspiration for my new packing strategy came from Fashion For Nerds, who did a series of posts on packing light.  Based on her advise I wore my lightest clothes on the plane, folded but didn't organize or roll my clothes and made sure my suitcase was unexpanded for the trip south.  That meant I would have room in my suitcase to put new purchases, as I would wear heavier clothes home and roll/compress my clothes for the trip home.  It worked great.

What I Packed

Being San Francisco, I knew I would need layers that could be easily stored in my day bag if it warmed up.  I kept the colour palette fairly neutral, with a few punches of colour so I wouldn't get too bored.

A few items were removed after this picture was taken. The black shorts and a couple of shirts.


  • Red cropped ankle pants
  • Levi's straight leg jeans
  • Denim skirt
  • Grey 3/4 length leggings


  • Teal tunic top (and bandeau to wear under)
  • Black and white polka dot Melrose Mesh Top from Kiyonna (arrived in the mail the day before we left)
  • Black and white striped short sleeve t-shirt
  • Black 3/4 length t-shirt
  • Teal short sleeve t-shirt
  • White tank top
  • Navy blue 80s sloppy t-shirt
  • Black and White animal print cardigan
  • Mustard cardigan
  • Olive green safari jacket

For shoes I took my black converse sneakers, black sparkly Tom's and new Naot sandals.   Plus my bathing suit, just in case.  With my accessories I took my black and white scarf, as it works great as an extra layer in a pinch.  I also took my black and white rain jacket - which I never had to use as it only rained once - at night.

I had initially also packed shorts and a black dress, but removed them. I added the leggings to wear under my skirt instead.  I could have also skipped the red pants, as I only wore them on the plane going to San Fran.

What I Wore

So I was the person on our trip taking most of the pictures, this means there are very few pictures of me.  It also seems even though the weather was lovely when we were there the only pictures taken of me seem to be in my jacket.

I intended to take pictures of my outfits everyday, but I wasn't diligent so it didn't happen. I actually failed this on the very first day!  I will blame that on the 6am flight, which meant a 4am airport arrival... note that we won't be doing that with a 4 year old again.

Day #2 - Golden Gate Park

Day #3 - After driving over the Golden Gate Bridge

Day #3 - My Crazy hair after driving over Golden Gate Bridge in an antique open top fire engine.

Day #4 - Night out with my Hubbie in my Kiyonna top and Dr. Marten boots.

Day #6 - Muir Woods

The Shopping

I came to San Fran with a shopping mission.  On Day #2 we planned a visit to the Golden Gate Park (fantastic kids play ground, carousel and Lindy in the Park) and then the Haight Ashbury area.  Specifically the Dr. Marten store. And I came home with the Mandy wedges that had been on my list for months. I thought my mom and husband would try to talk me into the practical grey. But they actually encouraged me to splurge on the black currant colour.  Even though the picture isn't great, I had 4 people comment on them that night.  I'll get re-create the outfit with my new Levi's skinny jeans (I figured a trip to San Fran wasn't complete without a visit to their Flagship store).    And other than a few chocolates and some things for my son that was my shopping. I had hoped to hit Macy's and get some new underthings. But visited the Exploritorium instead.  I have a load of memories, and photos (without me) to remember the trip.

I do have to say that my 70 year old mom was great in the Docs store.  She was so busy trying on purple boots she almost didn't care what shoes I was trying on. Wish I could say she bought her first Dr. Marten's that day... but alas she has a very narrow foot.  And couldn't find any that would fit.  But I so love that she really tried to find a pair that would work.

What did you do on your summer vacation?  Did you come home with any memorable new items?